It’s no secret that C-level executives play critical roles in their organizations. That’s why human resources professionals need to thoroughly understand what they can do to find the right candidates.
There are many ways to go about this, and the following is by no means an exhaustive list. However, it does cover some of the more effective strategies to keep in mind during your search. The points listed here can help you find a candidate who is the best fit for your organization’s particular needs.
Leverage Social Media
Research indicates that a relatively large percentage of executives are active on LinkedIn. Thus, you can use this platform to reach out to potential candidates early in the recruitment process. Depending on where they are in their career, the ideal C-level executive may not be immediately interested in leaving their current position to join your organization. You might need to cultivate a relationship with them first to make your case. Although there are many ways you can find and reach out to potential candidates, platforms like LinkedIn give you the opportunity to do so much more efficiently than you might have in the past.
Consider a Flexible Approach
Obviously, you want to make the idea of working at your company sound as attractive as possible to strong candidates. This might mean shifting the way you think about C-level executives.
The rise of the “gig economy” has resulted in more and more workers handling temporary projects before moving on to other roles at other organizations. Typically, many HR professionals assume this trend only applies to lower-level employees.
That doesn’t need to be the case. Maybe your company is in a situation where you could benefit from temporary help at the executive level. Perhaps, for instance, you want to initiate a rebranding campaign, but your current leadership doesn’t have the experience necessary to do so. Or, maybe a high-level executive left the company unexpectedly, and you need someone to temporarily fill their role until you find a more permanent replacement.
While you won’t have the opportunity to do so in all instances, it can be helpful to provide C-level candidates with the option to work for your organization on a temporary basis. The idea of staying at your company for a long period of time might not be appealing to them. However, if they have the option to help you reach a major goal, qualified candidates may be more inclined to accept such a position.
Focus on “Soft” Skills
It makes sense that HR professionals would look for candidates with the relevant set of technical expertise and demonstrated experience when filling C-level positions. However, it’s also important to focus on “soft skills” as well—when recruiting for management positions at all levels of an organization, and particularly when looking for a new CEO.
The “soft” leadership abilities of communicating effectively, motivating and inspiring people, and building consensus may be even more significant than technical expertise. That’s because a CEO (or anyone in a similar position) will be responsible for leading a company as it grows. While it’s useful to have someone in this position who knows the industry well, it’s arguably just as valuable to have someone who knows how to get a group of people to work together to achieve a common goal.
It’s also worth remembering that C-level executives represent their organizations publicly. When filling these positions, it’s necessary to seek candidates who will make the right impression on clients and the general public by effectively communicating the company’s values.
Look for Forward-Thinkers
Everyone knows that changing consumer attitudes are affecting the way organizations in every industry operate. Changing expectations among job-seekers can also impact how successful a company will be at attracting new talent.
Thus, HR professionals can’t simply rely on past successes to evaluate whether a candidate is right for a C-level position. Someone who thrived in the past may not be as successful now if they aren’t willing to shift their overall attitude to keep up with the times.
For example, surveys indicate that young consumers are more likely to give socially responsible companies their business. Employees, on the other hand, want greater flexibility and a sense of purpose when looking for new employers. Finding a C-level candidate who understands these new expectations will make it much easier for your company to adjust. That’s why it’s so important to discuss these topics when interviewing potential candidates.
Again, these points may not cover everything you need to know about hiring C-level executives. They do, however, cover certain aspects of an effective search that may be easy to overlook. Remember to consider them the next time you need to recruit a candidate for such a role.